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Principal Message Autumn 2023

Dear Elms Families,

Autumn has been an exciting time at Elms Elementary with many fun-filled activities and learning opportunities.  Thank you to all our parents and guardians who attended our Back to School Nights and the PTN welcome breakfast. Making connections between home and school is key to a successful educational experience for our children.  


During the month of October, students and staff are celebrating the Week of Respect and Safe Schools Week. In conjunction with Safe Schools Week, the Jackson Police are presenting important safety tips through our school-wide D.A.R.E. program. Additionally, the Jackson Fire Department came to visit facilitating fire safety presentations for our Pre-K through grade 5 population. Thank you to our students, staff and community for keeping our school safe and secure. Special thanks to the Jackson Police and Fire Department for being so involved with our students. We are fortunate to live in such a caring community!

Trunk or Treat 

Mark your calendars- our Trunk or Treat event will be held at Elms on Thursday, October 26th! Our Book Fair will also be open during this event for families to shop together. All families decorating a trunk should bring one bag of candy and we will provide the rest. Families that are attending and trick or treating are asked to bring one bag of candy per student to school. Our Candy Monsters will be arriving at Elms to collect donations beginning October 10th!


To sign up to decorate a trunk or to RSVP to attend the event, please use this link: 


Halloween (Tuesday, October 31, 2023)


In keeping with the spirit of fun, children may dress in costumes on Tuesday, October 31st, if they wish.  Children who choose to participate should come to school dressed in their costumes and be prepared to remain in their costumes all day.   Please keep in mind that costumes should be comfortable and allow for children to move freely and should not depict any sort of violence.  Remember that your child, while in his/her costume, will need to be able to sit, write, walk, and eat lunch and/or snack, as well as do other school-related activities.  If your child chooses to wear a costume, it should lend itself to these activities. 

Of course, safety is the utmost concern.    In order to provide for a safe and fun experience for all, please be sure to adhere to the following precautions:

  • COSTUME MASKS may NOT be worn at any time.

  • Please plan to apply make-up at home.

  • Costumes must be school dress code appropriate.

  • Fake weapon accessories are prohibited. (All costume peripherals should stay at home, please.)




(Parent Portal opens October 23, 2023 and closes November 1, 2023)

Parent-Teacher Conferences Will Be Held Nov. 6-8, 2023. You can schedule your conference on the portal beginning Oct. 23 through Nov. 1. You will be given the option to schedule a conference IN-PERSON or VIRTUALLY. See our district website announcement for more details and instructions.

As the parent-teacher conference days approach, we hope that you will have the opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher regarding their academic progress. Although there are no other official conference days during the school year, we encourage you to stay in close communication with your child’s teacher and to stay involved in their education.  Whether through a phone call, an email, or a note in the planner, the Elms staff is ready to help.


Las conferencias de padres y maestros se llevarán a cabo del 6 al 8 de noviembre de 2023. Puede programar su conferencia en el portal desde el 23 de octubre hasta el 1 de noviembre. Se le dará la opción de programar una conferencia EN PERSONA o VIRTUALMENTE. Consulte el anuncio en el sitio web de nuestro distrito para obtener más detalles e instrucciones.


Elms is a Community of Readers 

This month Elms is scheduling our first Book Fair of the year. Thank you to the PTN volunteers for your hard work organizing the Book Fair in support of reading and literacy. As a school community, we pride ourselves on being a community of readers. One of the most profound ways a parent can help their child be successful in school is to protect 20 minutes of reading time at home daily. Reading daily is foundational to students' reading achievement and overall success in school. Please continue to support our school wide reading goals by reading with your child every day! 

Suggested Reading Routines from Ms. Villecco, Reading Specialist: As we transition to the more regimented days of school, I'd like to remind the Elms community of the importance to make reading at home a priority. This reading may look different in every home or from day to day; reading to your child(ren), reading with your child(ren), or listening to your child(ren) read.

No matter what your "reading" looks like, reading and talking about books with your child(ren) will provide numerous benefits; including but not limited to academic success, increased concentration, and improved imagination.  If you're in need of some suggestions to implement or spruce up your reading routine at home, check out this article on simple ways to build a reading routine.

Elms Green Initiative: 

The trout are coming! In the days ahead, Elms School's Media center will receive trout eggs and will be raising them through the year as part of our Media/Aquaponics program. As participants in the “Trout In the Classroom'' program, our eldest students will diligently feed and nurture these tiny fish each day. The trout eggs were harvested at the Peaquest Trout Hatchery, delivered to our school by NJ Trout Unlimited volunteers, and maintained in the IMC by Mrs. Konopack. Students will learn to create and sustain a healthy, cold, freshwater environment for the rainbow trout. They will take turns counting the fish, measuring their growth, changing the tank water, monitoring the pH levels, and even scooping out dead fish! In the spring, fifth graders and their families will be invited to the Forest Research Education Center, right here in Jackson to participate in a trout release into the Toms River!

Report Cards

As the 1st marking period nears an end on December 6th, please make sure you are ready to access your child’s report card on the district portal website.  If you haven't done so already, be sure to log into your Parent Portal account. Report cards will be released to the Portal on Wednesday, December 14th.  

American Education Parent Experience  

As we continue to build the important connection between home and school, Elms is excited to welcome parents to join us for a classroom learning experience.  Please review the schedule below so you can “save the date”. More details will be provided by the classroom teachers.  We look forward to you joining us for these fun, educational events.









Barnfield & Weaver

Webb & Kenny


We Read Together 

We Read Together

Jan 18th

Jan 22nd


Agoston & Zecca

Brucculeri & O’Brien


We Read Together 

We Read Together

Dec 11th

Dec 14th




Read Aloud & Craft

Nov 16th


Lokerson, Paquette, Spadaro


STEM Challenge

Jan 12th

Hussa, Paradise, Gochal


Art of Comprehension

Nov 3rd



Giaconia & Tice

Rudenjak & Hartman


STEM Activity

STEM Activity

Nov 21

Nov 21




Holiday Trash-ketball Tourney

Dec 20


 Free and Reduced Lunch Application

You may apply for free/reduced price lunch benefits. Applications are sent home with students in September, and are always available on our website or at your child’s school. Only one application is required per household, but must be completed annually. If a new application for prior recipients is not received, the full price for lunch will be charged. Applications may be found on the Food Services website

 Food Services

You may apply for free/reduced price lunch benefits. Applications were sent home with students in September, and are always available on our website or at your child’s school. Only one application is required per household, but must be completed annually.  Please complete and return the Free and Reduced Lunch forms.  Submitting this form provides opportunities for other reduced or free opportunities for our families.  Please click this link to the Jackson Food Service Department to  complete your Free and Reduced Lunch forms.

PTN Meeting

Please join us for our next PTN meeting on Wednesday, October 18th at 9:30am.  Superintendent, Nicole Pormilli, plans to attend and to address our parent community regarding the upcoming special question vote scheduled for November 6th.

Special Question is Being Proposed

The Jackson School District will be seeking voter approval on Nov. 7, 2023 for a special question to add strategic positions to our district staff (some details are below). We are committed to ensuring the entire Jackson community is able to make an informed decision - and we are looking for your help as we create informational materials and brainstorm opportunities for community engagement on this proposal. 

 The Nov. 7 Special Question is being proposed to raise an additional $4,035,000 for the General Fund for 2023-2024. If approved by voters, the funds will result in a permanent increase to the tax base. These funds would be used exclusively to add the following positions:


  •  6 Guidance Counselors - Needed for an increase in mental health needs and for better student-to-counselor ratios
  • 2 Student Assistance Counselors - Needed for increases we are experiencing in substance abuse

  • 8 Interventionist Teachers - Needed for academic intervention to improve academic progress

  • 10 Elementary Teachers - Needed for class size reduction

  • 12 Secondary Teachers - Needed for class size reduction

  • 1 Nonpublic Student Coordinator and 1 Nonpublic Secretary - Needed for management of all state non-public funds that are required to be managed by the school district (e.g. Title I)

  • 4 Child Study Team Members - Needed for a better ratio of special education student-to-case manager

  • 4 ESL Teachers - Needed for increases in student population and instructional needs for ESL students

 Looking and Planning Ahead: 


  • There will be a BOE Meeting on Wednesday, October 18th at 6:30 pm in the Fine Arts Center at Jackson Memorial High School.


  • Conference Schedule Dates - Please note that these are shortened days for ALL students (9:00AM - 1:40PM)   

Please schedule your conference(s) through the Parent Portal from October 23 through November 1  (more information will be forthcoming from the district regarding sign up).

  • Monday, November 6th - Afternoon conferences and evening conferences
  • Tuesday, November 7th - Afternoon conferences 
  • Wednesday, November 8th - Afternoon conferences


  • Picture Retakes will be held on Monday, December 4th for anyone that needs to have their picture taken due to being absent or needing a re-take.


  • Elms Elementary School will be CLOSED on Thursday, November 9th, 2023 and Friday, November 10th, 2023 for the New Jersey Teachers Convention. 


  • On Wednesday, November 15th, the Board of Education Meeting will be held at 6:30 pm in the Fine Arts Building at JMHS.


  • Elms Elementary School will have an early dismissal on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.  All students will be dismissed at 1:40PM on that day.   Elms Elementary School will be closed on Thursday, November 23, 2023 and Friday, November 24, 2023. 


On behalf of the entire Elms Staff, we look forward to working together to help your child achieve their hopes and dreams.  Please contact the school directly if you have any questions. We will be glad to help you.


Michael Burgos                                Kevin McCann

Principal                                            Assistant Principal